EM: In early 2002, we bought our first kiln with the
intention of making our own flat glass panels to
include in our stained glass windows. One of our
original concepts was to make a glass panel look
like a basket. We made some strips of glass that had
different-colored lines in them. We cut them into
squares and alternated them into a checkerboard
pattern. From a distance it looked woven, but up
close it was obvious that an actual weave eluded us.
So we spent several years and hundreds of experiments learning how to actually weave different
colors of glass with different temperatures together.
AG: What were some of the logistical and technical
challenges you came across?
TN: Eric’s technical engineering side gave him
the patience during all the experiments; I was
more frustrated during the process because I just
wanted to make something. We found out that all
the colors of glass had a range of melting temperatures. Additionally, not all the colors of glass are
compatible and they may not stick together during
the weaving and firing process.
To make matters more complicated, we weren’t
satisfied with the limited colors available in
commercial sheet glass, so we started making our LEAVES OF GLASS: The natural world comes right into
own signature colors, [which] also had different the gallery with Box of Koi (left) and Saguaro (right).
melting temperatures and needed to be tested for
AG: What do you love about weaving glass? What sculptures are named first and created later, others
do you think is the most interesting aspect? are created and sit in the studio or our home for quite
EM: We try to take our sculpture beyond the weave some time before we name them. We try to create a
technique itself. We use the woven glass literally as theme each year to add continuity to the new sculp-fabric to create the various sculptural shapes that tures; this year the theme was Japanese origami.
amuse and inspire us. We strive to make sculptural TN: The theme helps us focus the hundreds of
shapes that have a “wow” factor from a distance, ideas that are bouncing around in our heads. There
but we love that the woven glass reliably provides are sculptures that we have been thinking about
an additional “wow” factor upon close inspection. for years that just don’t seem to be ready to make.
TN: Many people still can’t believe it is woven glass Sometimes our own growth with the technique
until they touch it. We do encourage touch, since we helps us flesh out sculptures that we previously
have worked very hard to maintain a very textured could not physically create.
surface. This too is challenging; if we heat the glass AG: Are there new developments in store, or are
too much it will simply all run together and become you still enjoying the challenges you currently face?
a smooth surface. We say we have to keep it at the TN: We want to take our sculpture to a grander
“taffy” stage, not the “honey” stage. scale. We are very inspired by the American painter
AG: Do you set out with an idea to start, or see how Georgia O’Keefe and we love her concept that if you
the piece evolves? want people to look at something, make it big.
EM: Sometimes we have the concept and overall
shape drawn out first, and create the colors to fit
our needs. Other times we create a bunch of beautiful color samples while testing temperatures, and
the colors tell us what they should become. Some Arwen O’Reilly Griffith is staff editor of CRAF T.
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